News Roundup

WLOS reports that the Buncombe County Farm Bureau is offering a $5,000 reward for information related to four barn fires in the county that may have been intentionally set.  Fires broke out at four barn structures in the western part of the county on Wednesday morning.  One of the barns was 80 years old.  Keep reading for more news.

Granville.  The News & Observer reports that former Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted last week on charges of falsifying law enforcement training records from 2012 through 2018.  The report says that Wilkins was charged with obtaining property by false pretenses for allegedly using deception to retain his certification from the N.C. Sheriff’s Education and Training Standards Division.  He already faces other criminal charges related to allegations that he allegedly advised a person to kill a former sheriff’s deputy.

The same N&O report also says that Charles Noblin, who was serving as Granville County Sheriff, resigned his position last week in part because of new information discovered during the investigation of the Sheriff’s Office. Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said in a letter to the Sheriff’s Education and Training Standards Division that there was evidence that Noblin had signed a firearm qualification form without completing required training.  Freeman said that the incident was isolated and should not be the subject of criminal prosecution.

New HQ.  BlueRidgeNow reports that the Hendersonville Police Department recently moved into a new station.  The department hosted the public for a tour and ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday.  The new facility is the first building dedicated exclusively for us by the department, which formerly was housed in City Hall and kept its evidence room at the city’s Operations Center.  The lobby of the new station features a mural of Officer Dean Clawson, who was killed in the line of duty in November of 1981.

THC Raid.  The Greensboro News & Record reports that a Greensboro business that sells cannabis products was raided by Greensboro police in September after testing revealed that products bought from the store exceeded the 0.3% state limit for THC.  The co-owner of Essential Hemp, Hector Sanchez, said that he believes that police may have applied for the search warrant based in part on confusion between delta-8 and delta-9 THC.  No charges had been filed at the time of the News & Record article.

Chemours.  The chemical company Chemours was the subject of significant attention in years past after it was discovered that it had been releasing a compound called GenX into the air and water near its Fayetteville plant.  The federal government investigated but, as the News Roundup noted last year, declined to pursue criminal charges against the company.  This week the Wilmington Star-News reported that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality recently announced that it has found that the company is responsible for contaminating New Hanover County’s water supply.  The article says that the company may be responsible for contamination in other counties as well.

Police Vacancies.  Fox 8 reports that many North Carolina police departments are struggling to fill vacancies as officers are leaving departments faster than replacements can be hired.  A Durham County Fraternal Order of Police spokesperson, Larry Smith, said that officers are leaving departments because of low pay and an anti-police political climate.  The article says that the city of Durham is working on a proposal to increase officer pay.